Learn How to Downsize Like a Pro

When it comes time to prepare for your move into a new home, it can be tempting to pack everything. It may be the perfect time to scale back your belongings on your way toward a more streamlined retirement. Here are seven of our best tips to help you downsize your belongings:

1. Take it slowly

Take your downsizing project one room at a time. By pacing yourself and working in short increments of about two hours at a time, you will be more productive and less prone to tiring out.

2. Remember OHIO

Relocation experts use the acronym OHIO to remind people to “only handle it once.” This practice removes the temptation to create a MAYBE pile while sorting belongings.

3. Shop your home

One effective method for downsizing your belongings during a move is to treat it like a shopping excursion. By making a list of the rooms in your new home along with their measurements, you can then pack only those items that fit into your new space.

4. Gift it now

If you have special belongings that you had planned to leave to family members, consider giving it to them now. This will give you the opportunity to share the stories and memories that accompany your gifts.

5. Use it or lose it

If you haven’t used an item within the past year, chances are you won’t use it in the next.

6. Be realistic

Do you really need two sets of pots & pans? Choose the pieces you use most often and let the rest go.

7. Give yourself a break

Downsizing can sometimes stir up emotions. Don’t hesitate to take some time to relax, reflect and reminisce if you want to. It’s all part of the process and certainly acceptable—even recommended.

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